Under-fire Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers has given the team update ahead of the Reds’ crunch crash against Aston Villa with four key members missing from the squad.
A?32million signing Christian Benteke was withdrawn at half-time during the 1-1 draw against Norwich City with a suspected hamstring strain and Rodgers believes that the Belgian will be out for some time.
Roberto Firmino and Dejan Lovren suffered injuries during the narrow win over League Two side Carlisle United in the third round of the Capital One Cup, which the Reds won on penalties. The duo are expected to be missing from action for some time. Firmino, according to Rodgers, has a cracked bone in his back following his awkward fall during the game, while Lovren has an ankle ligament injury after landing awkwardly while contesting for the ball.
Some really important players are unavailable for us — Brendan Rodgers
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Brendan Rodgers highlighted the mounting injury crisis at Anfield and insisted that his squad will be able to cope with these injuries. As quoted by the club’s official website, Rodgers said:
a All three will obviously not be available for the weekend.
a Christian will probably be out for a little bit of time.
a Young Firmino landed awkwardly in the game the other night and there is another scan on his back, but he may have cracked a bone in his back. Wea ll see how hea ll be over the coming weeks, but certainly hea ll be unavailable for tomorrow.
a And Dejan Lovren will be out for probably a few weeks with his ligament injury. So, unfortunately, those three are unavailable.a
Club captain Jordan Henderson has also undergone surgery on a broken foot and will be unavailable for up to eight weeks.
a We have Jordan Henderson out as well, so youa ve got some really important players that are unavailable for us. But wea ll manage it.
Ita s great to see him on the training field and the pitch — Rodgers on Sturridge
However, there is some good news for Liverpool FC, with striker Daniel Sturridge slowly returning to full fitness. The English forward featured in the clash against Norwich City and is expected to play some part in tomorrow’s game against Villa.
a Wea re nurturing him.
a He had a good hour or so during our last game in the league.
a Wea ve just got to manage him back into the games. But ita s great to see him on the training field and the pitch and obviously hea ll be available for tomorrow.a
Tomorrow’s game is seen by many as a must-win game for the Reds, with the manager’s fate partially dependent on tomorrow’s result after a string of unconvincing performances.